Interleukin-6, Produced by Resident Cells of the Central Nervous System and Infiltrating Cells, Contributes to the Development of Seizures following Viral Infection▿


Cells that can participate in an innate immune response within the central nervous system (CNS) include infiltrating cells (polymorphonuclear leukocytes [PMNs], macrophages, and natural killer [NK] cells) and resident cells (microglia and sometimes astrocytes). The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is produced by all of these cells and has been implicated in the development of behavioral seizures in the Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV)-induced seizure model. The assessment, via PCR arrays, of the mRNA expression levels of a large number of chemokines (ligands and receptors) in TMEV-infected and mock-infected C57BL/6 mice both with and without seizures did not clearly demonstrate the involvement of PMNs, monocytes/macrophages, or NK cells in the development of seizures, possibly due to overlapping function of the chemokines. Additionally, C57BL/6 mice unable to recruit or depleted of infiltrating PMNs and NK cells had seizure rates comparable to those of controls following TMEV infection, and therefore PMNs and NK cells do not significantly contribute to seizure development. In contrast, C57BL/6 mice treated with minocycline, which affects monocytes/macrophages, microglial cells, and PMNs, had significantly fewer seizures than controls following TMEV infection, indicating monocytes/macrophages and resident microglial cells are important in seizure development. Irradiated bone marrow chimeric mice that were either IL-6-deficient mice reconstituted with wild-type bone marrow cells or wild-type mice reconstituted with IL-6-deficient bone marrow cells developed significantly fewer behavioral seizures following TMEV infection. Therefore, both resident CNS cells and infiltrating cells are necessary for seizure development

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This paper was published in PubMed Central.

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